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Russian man charged with planned killing of Chechen dissident in Germany

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
The charge comes just months after another Russian was convicted of murdering a Chechen Georgian in Berlin.
The charge comes just months after another Russian was convicted of murdering a Chechen Georgian in Berlin.   -   Copyright  Christophe Gateau/Pool via AP

German prosecutors have charged a Russian man with planning the killing of a Chechen dissident in Germany.

The suspect -- identified only as Valid D. -- is accused of accepting an order to assassinate an opposition member living in exile in Germany.

Federal prosecutors said the order came from a member of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s security apparatus in early 2000.

The alleged victim and his brother are both critics of Kadyrov -- an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and vocally spoke out for an independent Chechnya on social media.

The assassination was actually to be carried out by another man, who accepted due to fear of repression, prosecutors said.

The suspect is alleged to have obtained a firearm, ammunition and a silencer and travelled to Germany in late 2020 to receive the planned assassin and help plan the killing.

Valid D. was arrested in northern Germany on 1 January this year and has been detained ever since, according to a statement.

He now faces trial for the "preparation of a serious act of violence threatening the state" and weapons law violations. Valid D.'s lawyer said that his client denies all charges.

Last year, a Berlin court sentenced a Russian man to life in prison for killing a Chechen man in Berlin in 2019. The court concluded that the murder was directly ordered by Moscow.

The latest charge is likely to heighten tensions between Germany and Russia amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.